Discovered in a museum storeroom, a magnificent portrait of a horseman proves to be witness to a life straight out of an adventure novel: Fribourg mercenary leader Franz Peter König’s wild gallop through the Thirty Years’ War.
Birch bark pitch is the oldest all-purpose adhesive in history. Ötzi used birch pitch to affix his arrowheads to the shafts of the arrows; other prehistoric peoples glued broken pottery with birch pitch, or sealed canoes with it. Recently, science has also solved the mystery of how it was produced.
‘A sturdy, high-performance assistant for all four types of calculation, right there in your pocket’, promised the sales brochure. The world’s smallest handheld mechanical calculator was made in Liechtenstein.
At the Marian shrine of Oberbüren (Canton of Bern), the medieval Catholic Church offered some very special services: children who were stillborn or had died at birth were briefly brought back to life so that they could be baptised and then properly buried.
Salt is much more than just a seasoning. Salt is essential to life, and therefore a valuable commodity. For centuries Switzerland was dependent on salt imports. In 1836, a determined German drilling specialist and ‘salinist’ changed that for good.
Germany, UK, USA – whichever way you look at it, the computer is a foreign import here. But one of its forebears was a genuine Swiss creation: the portable writing system called Scrib, specially developed for journalism.